My name is Cat. I stumbled across this site while trying to learn what medium priced yarn is best for cables. I have pretty much taught myself to knit and after many years without it, have picked it up again. Poor health has limited me to online sources. I want to make a strip afghan with cables and lace but am stumped by what yarn to use. We don’t have a yarn shop here or even a knitting group that I know of to get advice. Any suggestions?
Welcome to KH!
Do you have a pattern or a preferred yarn weight for this afghan? If there’s a pattern you could copy and paste a URL into a post.
There are so many yarns…can you tell us what fiber you like best as well as post the pattern?
Assuming you’re in the US or Canada, which I really shouldn’t assume…
In general, you want the cables to show, so you don’t want a fuzzy or bumpy yarn. Something with a firm body, not too slippery, is a good place to start. For your first cabled project, light colors will be easier. It helps if the yarn will put up with being frogged, just in case of mistakes (not that I’ve ever made any…)
Something that won’t felt is also good, so if you want to use wool, look for some labeled “superwash.” (Caution: if you’re digging through a bin of Cascade 220, which is an old standard worsted-weight wool, make sure ALL the skeins you get are superwash–you can’t tell by feel, only by the labels!) If you want to use acrylic, there are a lot of choices. While Caron Simply Soft is wonderful for a lot of things, it’s a little frustrating for cables because it’s so slick. Red Heart Super Saver is too harsh for a lot of people (I like it, but that’s just me.) Red Heart With Love works for a lot of people, and so does some of the mid-priced Lion Brand worsted.
What does the pattern suggest? If it’s a yarn you can’t get, afford or use, substitution is almost always possible.
How do you feel about cotton for the afghan? Sugar ‘n’ Cream is inexpensive and shows cables and lace well. It’s worsted weight. I’ve knitted a strip afghan in a lace repeat with this yarn.
Lion Brand Wool-Ease is mostly acrylic, with a little wool, and they have some great heathered colors. It’s also worsted weight and quite inexpensive.
Agreed, Simply Soft is bad for cables. It’s too fuzzy and limp. I also really dislike the sheen. And I’m in the anti-Red Heart camp; it’s stiff and most of their colors are garish. But if you’re comfortable with the hand and can find some good colors, you’ll get the most bang for your buck there.
Patons has a DK superwash that I really like.
Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick ‘n’ Quick is a super-bulky yarn that has acrylic, so it won’t felt, and it shows cables nicely.
Cotton is durable and big cones are relatively inexpensive, but the brighter colors tend to fade and it can be heavy in big pieces like an afghan. Most of the lighter cotton blends aren’t smooth enough to show off the work.
Agree. I would never use pure cotton for an afghan. I’d go with a blend.
Point. Mine was a lap blanket in a lace pattern, so it wasn’t nearly as heavy as a larger throw in a denser stitch.